Washington, D.C. – Congressman G. K. Butterfield met with President Barack Obama at the White House this week along with members of the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss job creation and economic growth.
“While the economy has added 2.1 million private sector jobs over the past 14 months, including more than 800,000 jobs since the beginning of the year, too many Americans families are still hurting and the unemployment rate is unacceptably high—especially among African Americans,” Butterfield said.
Butterfield said that Obama stressed that the Administration continues to focus on economic recovery and on the communities that have been hardest hit. The 75-minute meeting took place on Thursday in the State Dining Room of the White House.
Obama also highlighted several domestic policy initiatives including Growth Zones. This designation provides tax incentives for investment and employment, and streamlines access to government assistance in the hardest hit areas of our country.
It was the first meeting between the full membership of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the president, a former CBC member, since Obama took office in 2009.
The CBC is an official, non-partisan Congressional caucus that was formed in 1971 to seek greater equity for African Americans. The CBC currently includes 43 members. Butterfield serves as the CBC’s second vice chair.
Butterfield said that members also pressed the importance of adopting a “10-20-30” approach to federal funding formulas. He explained that this would direct at least 10 percent of funding to communities where at least 20 percent of the population had lived below the poverty line for the last 30 years.
“Too often our most troubled communities get left behind,” Butterfield said. “Without resources, these communities will continue to suffer from the lack of quality schools, affordable health care and economic opportunities. As we move toward recovery, we need to make sure not to leave entire communities behind.”
He said that in the United States, there are 474 counties where 20 percent or more of the population has been living below the poverty line for the last 30 years.
Butterfield said that members also expressed concerns about the economic challenges facing young people. In response, Obama discussed the new public-private partnership that posts job opportunities for low-income youth on web at www.dol.gov/summerjobs.
President Barack Obama (center) at White House meeting with Congressional Black Caucus, including U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield